Colorado has lots of some of the most stunning natural formations worldwide– and we’re fortunate to live here. Each year photographers– amateur and professional alike– come here to attempt their hand at catching the charm that Colorado holds. From towering mountain peaks to colorful clay deposits on the plains, Colorado has a series of natural marvels for your eye.

Maroon Bells

Photo by Lorie Shaull through Flickr Creative Commons

The Lowdown: If you’ve seen a photo of Colorado there’s a chance it was of the Maroon Bells. These peaks tower over the surrounding landscape. At 14,000 feet it is easy to see their splendor from anywhere. The Maroon Bells are among Colorado’s iconic landscapes and host around 300,000 visitors each year.

How to Get Here: To get to the Maroon Bells you will likely need to take a bus from Aspen as there is extremely minimal personal vehicle access. The bus picks up at the Aspen Highlands and drops you off at the Maroon Bells. It’ll cost you $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends but the cost you pay deserves the view of these renowned Colorado Mountains.

Rocky Mountain National Forest

Rocky Mountain National Forest via Facebook

The Lowdown: Rocky Mountain National Park is noted as one of the 10 most checked out national forests by National Geographic– and for good factor. This awesome country park covers 415 square miles and is filled with natural appeal. RMNP has over 300 miles of treking routes to let you explore this sprawling safeguarded area. Honestly here you might point your video camera in any instructions and still take a great picture– the park is that fantastic.

How to Get Here: To get to RMNP you’ll wish to head north through Boulder and Lyons prior to heading into the mountains. Once you pass through Estes Park you’re nearly there. It’s simply a short drive from there to the entryway of this gorgeous park. For a cost of $35 per automobile or $20 per individual, this breathtaking park deserves the small charge.

READ: Best Concealed Walkings in Rocky Mountain National Park

Union Station

Click to see slideshow.

The Rundown: One of Denver’s the majority of iconic locations– Union Station has actually become a center for more than simply trains. Union Station has become host to a number of Denver’s finest shopping and dining experiences all tucked within this historical building. This gorgeous area in downtown Denver leaves you with numerous photo chances. Grab an image of the fountains out front, or the plain orange sign, all of this urban beauty is tucked right in Denver.

How to Get Here: Union Station is simple to find. From any of the surrounding Denver residential areas– just head in towards downtown Denver. Tucked on Wynkoop street between 16th and 18th street you’ll discover Union Station.

The Manitou Slope

Image by Brittany Werges

The Rundown: What used to be an old cable television car track– the Manitou Incline is now a hiking trail in Manitou Springs that is not for the faint of heart. Climbing up nearly 2,000 feet in a little less than one mile the Manitou Slope will kick your butt. If you can catch your breath enough to reverse you’ll see an astonishing view of Colorado Springs and the surrounding mountains. When you reach the top your effort is all rewarded with a scenic view of the surrounding landscape.

How to Get Here: For those ready to take this challenge– head south on I-25 out of Denver till you reach highway 24 and take it west towards Manitou Springs. When you reach Manitou Springs you can park in the Barr Trail lot or along Ruxton Road. The Slope is open from 6 a.m.– 6 p.m.

READ: Everything You Need to Know to Make It Through the Manitou Springs Slope

Crested Butte

Courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain Resort

The Lowdown: Famous for changing trees in fall and wildflowers in spring– Crested Butte is the essence of Colorado charm. This lovely town is swaddled in a jaw-dropping valley. Put in the time to trek to the top of Mount Crested Butte to see 360-degree views of this gorgeous landscape or make the most of the bright, various colored shops and dining establishments of downtown to get that picture perfect image background. Each moment spent in this special town presents you with sufficient opportunities to grab a quick, adorable photo of a liked one or friend.

How to Get Here: From Denver, you’re going to head southwest on highway 285 through Conifer and Fairplay. When you hit Poncha Springs you’ll take highway 50 west passing by Emperor Mountain prior to finally reaching Gunnison. After you reach Gunnison you’re simply a brief 30-minute drive from the beauty of downtown Crested Butte.

READ: A Weekend Guide to Exploring Little Colorado Mountain Towns

The Paint Mines

Paint Mines through All Trails

The Rundown: Stepping into the Paint Mines Interpretive Park feels like entering an alien landscape. The small shallow canyons of vibrant clay offer special backgrounds for each photo you take. This colorful clay was originally collected by Native Americans in the area to be utilized as paint. Enjoy your time hiking through this distinct landscape as you think of the rich history that this land holds.

How to Get Here: From Denver– head south on I-25 till you reach Castle Rock. From there you can take Lake Gulch Road to Colorado 83. Follow that south until you reach Hodgen Road. Take Hodgen Road onto Murphy Road to highway 24 going east. It’s just a short drive along highway 24 prior to you turn south onto North Calhan highway. At this moment, the Paint Mines should be just east of you.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Star tracks twist around Polaris behind Production Rock. Via RedRocksonline.com

The Rundown: Red Rocks is one of, if not the very best, outdoor locations in the nation. Listening to your preferred band play live while taking a look at the stars over the red sandstone surrounding you is an out of body experience, however this place is likewise beautiful in the daytime. Reach the top of the actions and take an image dealing with down towards the phase or do the opposite and stand on the phase looking up at the 70 rows of seats in front of you. If you’re lucky you might be able to get a shot of the venue without anyone else in it, however it has become a popular outside workout location for numerous Colorado citizens.

How to Get Here: Red Rocks is exceptionally simple to get to from Denver. Simply head west on highway 6 up until you reach I-70. Take this until you see exit 259. Utilize the left 2 lanes to turn south and head towards Red Rocks. From here you’ll see numerous park entryways. Feel complimentary to enter any of them as they all result in parking lots. I discover it easiest to park at the upper north lot if you’re looking for simple access to the amphitheater.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods after a dusting of snow at sunset (through thinkstock)

The Lowdown: The Garden of the Gods is a nationwide natural landmark in the heart of Colorado Springs. The Garden of the Gods is a photographer’s dream. These towering, free-standing red sandstone functions grab your attention and decline to let it go. Dotted along the rocks you will see birds, trees and even rock climbers from time to time. Inside the park– the north end of Juniper Method Loop gives you an ideal view of the Garden of the Gods in its complete splendor.

How to Get Here: From Denver– head south on I-25 for about an hour and a half. As soon as you remain in Colorado Springs– turn onto Garden of the Gods Roadway heading west. Take that up until you reach North 30th Street. Take North 30th Street south and you’ll soon be greeted by the towering rocks ahead of you.

Horsetooth Tank

Horsetooth Rock, a landmark of Fort Collins, Colorado, winter season landscapes with some snow and Rocky Mountains in background (through thinkstock)

The Lowdown: Just beyond Fort Collins is the beautiful Horsetooth Tank. These 6 and a half miles of water are surrounded by more than 1,900 acres of public land for you to delight in. Can be found in summer season to delight in a day of boating or in spring to delight in wildflowers and hiking. This stunning tank provides you endless opportunities for eye-catching photos of nature showing off the waters. Take the time to sit and capture a truly amazing Colorado sundown bouncing off the waters of Horsetooth Tank.

How to Get Here: Head north on I-25 from Denver until you reach Fort Collins. Take exit 265 onto East Consistency Roadway and follow that until it turns into West County Roadway 38. This will take you straight to the reservoir and– traffic depending– you must be there in just under an hour and a half.

Fantastic Sand Dunes National Park

Picture through Great Sand Dunes National Forest and Preserve Flickr

The Lowdown: Tucked up versus the peaks of the Rocky Mountains you wouldn’t anticipate to find imposing sand dunes, however that is exactly what you will find in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. These are the tallest dune in North America and are the perfect opportunity to get a contrasting image of towering dunes with mountain peaks. The Great Sand Dunes National Park is among Colorado’s best places for photography. Climbing up to the top of a significant sand dune prior to turning and taking an image of your prints in the sand is an experience you have to do in your life time.

How to Get Here:From Denver– take highway 285 till you reach the San Luis Valley. From here you’ll separate and head onto Colorado Highway 17. At this point, you’ll be able to see the sand dunes– and for a while, it will feel like you’re making no progress towards them, that becomes part of the magic of the San Luis Valley. Eventually, you’ll cut from Colorado Highway 17 to Colorado Highway 150 and you’ll be at the park. For a fee of $20, you’ll have access to the park for seven days.

READ: Exploring the Lesser-Known Zapata Falls Near The Terrific Sand Dunes

Telluride

Photo by Brittany Werges.

The Rundown: Telluride, Colorado is among Colorado’s design mountain towns. From snowboarding to hiking to everything else in between– Telluride has everything. Enjoy this gorgeous town nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado. There are wildflowers in spring, frozen waterfalls in winter season, and sweeping mountains throughout the year. This town has actually turned into one of Colorado’s most famously photographed destinations and with the sheer quantity of awesome natural landscapes close by– it is not hard to see why.

How to Get Here:To get to Telluride from Denver you’ll wish to head west on I-70 up until you reach Grand Junction. From there head south along highway 50 to Montrose where you’ll switch to highway 550. From here you’ll rapidly get to Ridgway and you’ll wish to get on Colorado highway 62 to Placerville. Then simply get on Colorado highway 145 and you’ll be in Telluride prior to you understand it.

— Colorado is complete of lovely natural and manmade landscapes. This list is far from full and even near complete. Off every beaten course or county road is a place worth photographing. Take the time to explore the lower known parts of Colorado in addition to the popular ones. This state is awesome and we at 303 Magazine are extremely lucky to call it home. Get your cam, find your sense of adventure and head out into the wild that is Colorado.

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